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If "Tube Sound" Is a Myth, Why Tubes?

DanielT

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Try it ... You (might) like it....tubes.

But it is slightly advanced for the beginner, it is important to get to the right position (bias). That's how it's best (sound). A bit cumbersome, but if you are in the right mood so ...

It's nice to vary, a little spice in the everyday sound does not hurt.:)
 

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Sal1950

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DanielT

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Oh my, I'm shocked and appalled.
It was just a little cheeky joke.:)

More life was in 1980 when this was broadcast on television to the entire Swedish people:

Without question, Kenta Gustafsson's contribution to the Melodifestivalen (music competition)was in 1980. The lyrics are about the situation of alcoholics. [1] Kenta caused a stir when he performed the contribution wearing a too offensive t-shirt, which showed two figures in a sexual position, namely the 69, and the text read "try it - you'll like it". The song: "Utan att fråga" turned out to be a popular song but it did not reach all the way but it came in sixth place.


....


Damn, what would life be boring without such odd birds flying around.:D
 

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Strumbringer

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Measurement and tubes question for those more knowledgable than me: My Bottlehead amp came stock with a rather pedestrian/average 6080. While other 6080 power tubes (I assume) would measure the same in terms of frequency curve, some, without a doubt, sound better- better clarity, imaging, and less "blurring" of instruments. Going to a 6AS7G was even better sounding, and to date, the 5998 sounded best to my ears. The latter has less bass presence/push and much better sounding clarity in high-midrange and high frequencies. If these tubes look the same on a graph, can we measure things like definition, clarity, or imaging? Are those simply subjective?
 

SIY

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If these tubes look the same on a graph, can we measure things like definition, clarity, or imaging? Are those simply subjective?
The things that determine them are simple to measure. If the sonic differences are real, the tubes will NOT "look the same on a graph."
 

egellings

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For me, the draw of tubes is the ability to make home-brew tube amplifiers, since the circuits tend to be simple compared to those of S.S. amps. If the design is a bit off, the tube amp may not be optimised, but usually will still sorta work allowing a chance to POOGE it. With a S.S. circuit, you end up with sparks & smoke if all is not well at the outset. POOGE: Progressive Optimization Of Generic Equipment.
 

notsodeadlizard

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Disclosure: my university education was in applied physics and signal processing, and I currently work in the software industry, so my knowledge of electrical engineering is not zero, but I'm no EE. So apologies in advance for any technical errors.

This thread is inspired in part by comments I've seen from @SIY , and others, that there is no such thing as "tube sound", per se, and that properly designed tube amps should be neutral.

Which then raises a number of questions, in my mind:

--If tube based amps can be made to avoid "tubey sound", why bother with tubes instead of solid state?

--If a tube based amp is designed to avoid "tubey sound", what impact does that have on tube rolling?

--If a tube based amp is designed to avoid "tubey sound", does it have any impact on the output impedance, current, or other factors that differentiate tubes from solid state?

--Does it matter at all if there are tube rectifiers in the circuit?

--Is there a reason to prefer transformers to boost converters?

--Between driver, power, and rectifier tubes, which are have the most impact on the sound, assuming a "non tubey" design goal?

--If tubes don't have a sound, what's the point of hybrid tube amps?
"Tube sound" term is based on some historical-engineering facts.
But first you need to understand what is meant by this term. And here we have the bad news because there is no common understanding of the term.
For example, I understand the term "tube sound" as the familiar (to me) sound of a high-quality, low-distortion Class A singe-ended tube voltage amplification stage with predominantly even harmonics and very characteristic soft clipping.
At the same time, I do not find interesting in push-pull tube amplifiers with an output transformer. And in general, I have not been interested in amplifiers with a tube output for a very long time, because everything should be in its place and do what it does well.

As for what I like, I stick to a purely engineering explanation of why I like it - because only tube circuitry allows voltage amplification stages of minimal complexity to get a large amplitude of a slightly distorted voltage signal and a very "nice" clipping that is extremely difficult to imitate or implement in solid state circuits.
That's it, and no magic.
Is that the tubes are beautiful and it's nice to listen to music in the dark with them (yes, I am a violent subjectivist).
 

Travis

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Is that the tubes are beautiful and it's nice to listen to music in the dark with them (yes, I am a violent subjectivist).
Be that as it may, I believe that you can hear the difference and that you have a preference.
 

Sal1950

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MattHooper

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I enjoy audio shows and I have been perusing the various audio show videos on youtube having fun looking at the gear.

I have to admit there is one thing that kind of irks me about all the rooms using tube amps. It's not simply using the tube amps - I use tube amps, and I really enjoy seeing different tube amp designs. I think they look really nice.

Rather, it's similar to the thing about vinyl being played in so many rooms. It seems either explicit, or implicit that "Of course the best sound comes from vinyl" so you see all these extravagant turntables playing. Similarly there's a sort of "Of course, the best sound comes from tubes" or "The Real Audiophile chooses tube amplification...." hence tube amps hooked up to the gazillion dollar speakers. Tube amps and vinyl are the "street cred" of audiophiledom.

It's just the misleading subtext about what really is State Of The Art in these audio shows that can irk me a bit.

Still, I enjoy going and checking out the gear when I can.
 

Julf

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It's just the misleading subtext about what really is State Of The Art in these audio shows that can irk me a bit.
Oh, where do I even start.... :)
 

Keith_W

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I bought my valve amps when I was a card carrying subjectivist. I keep them because I have already paid for them, and I am quite attached to how they look.
 

Angsty

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Tube/valve amps can recreate music beautifully. They simply are not the most accurate reproduction devices. Nothing wrong with preferring a watercolor painting to a high- res photograph, either.
 

mhardy6647

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I bought my valve amps when I was a card carrying subjectivist. I keep them because I have already paid for them, and I am quite attached to how they look.
Dude?! There're cards?!?
Why was I not aware of this?
(N.B. This is a rhetorical question ... but I'd have thought I'd have known...)

:cool:
 

egellings

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I enjoy audio shows and I have been perusing the various audio show videos on youtube having fun looking at the gear.

I have to admit there is one thing that kind of irks me about all the rooms using tube amps. It's not simply using the tube amps - I use tube amps, and I really enjoy seeing different tube amp designs. I think they look really nice.

Rather, it's similar to the thing about vinyl being played in so many rooms. It seems either explicit, or implicit that "Of course the best sound comes from vinyl" so you see all these extravagant turntables playing. Similarly there's a sort of "Of course, the best sound comes from tubes" or "The Real Audiophile chooses tube amplification...." hence tube amps hooked up to the gazillion dollar speakers. Tube amps and vinyl are the "street cred" of audiophiledom.

It's just the misleading subtext about what really is State Of The Art in these audio shows that can irk me a bit.

Still, I enjoy going and checking out the gear when I can.
Is it just that the tube & turntable technologies are old, tried & true that's causing the attraction to them?
 

Multicore

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Tube sounds is no myth. That's why I use a very sophisticated digital (software) modeler to simulate it when playing my electric guitar.

Hi-fi tube sound, on the other hand, is either a myth, because hi-fi means transparent (in my book), or it's a contradiction in terms, because hi-fi means transparent.
 
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